Retail Roundup – May 2024

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

May saw a surge in the use of floor stickers and hanging signage, highlighted by some impressive full-aisle takeovers. Persil’s particularly grabbed our attention.

With Summer approaching, both retailer and brand creative executions became brighter, with a significant focus on summer drinks, cocktails and spritz.

Sports-themed promotions appeared in many stores, supporting events like the Euros and the Olympics. Asda mirrored this trend online.

The ongoing disconnect between in-store and online shopping experiences was evident again this month, with the exception of Asda. Additionally, Sainsbury’s announced a 5-year partnership with Microsoft to use AI for enhancing both in-store and online shopping. We’re excited to see how this partnership evolves.

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Retail Roundup – April 2024

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

It’s not often that the world of grocery retail is quiet, but April saw a lull particularly in store. This was perhaps down to an early Easter leaving a gap in the retail calendar.

The quiet month presented Cadbury with a huge opportunity to elevate their 200-year anniversary celebration with a groundbreaking complete power aisle takeover at Sainsbury’s.

Meanwhile, Tesco persisted in their deployment of digital media within stores, while we took pride in witnessing the debut of the Spritz GE, a design we meticulously crafted, gracing the shelves of Waitrose. Its introduction, perfectly timed to coincide with the onset of favourable weather conditions.

We noticed a continued disconnect between retailers in store and digital activity. Asda’s playful social campaign to attract Gen Z worked brilliantly online, yet there remained untapped potential with a failure to extend the playful language into store, particularly in what was a quieter month.

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Retail Roundup – March 2024

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

March ’24 was buzzing with Easter excitement at the major mults!

Asda claimed to be the ‘Home of Easter’, but in our opinion their execution fell slightly short compared to the competition – both in terms of creative and comms visibility.

Cadbury’s Creme Egg, on the other hand, stole the spotlight with their eye-catching front of store display at Morrisons.
Shoppers everywhere couldn’t fail to notice Pepsi’s fresh new look hitting the shelves.

The Beer, Wine, and Spirits (BWS) category also got its fair share of attention, with many retailers hosting drinks festivals or offering volume discounts.

Tesco continued to roll out in-aisle branded bays, although with so many now to be seen, do they start to lose impact?
Also, this month, kudos to Waitrose for their commitment to sustainability via the dedication of a gondola end to B Corp brands and Morrisons with a thoughtful campaign and online zone for Ramadan and Eid, including recipe inspiration shared by the retailers’ colleagues.

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Retail Roundup – February 2024

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

This month, we delved deeper into the world of convenience retail where Co-op were stealing the show among the stores we reviewed, with a variety of event-based comms, complemented by their loyalty scheme.

The convenience channel provided us with a far more mission-based comms than we see in the grocery multiples; with ‘meal for tonight’ and ‘lunch deals’ featuring prominently. There was a stronger emphasis on community and locality, as we’d expect from the channel.

In the grocery multiples, the swift transition from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day and Ramadan was evident. This year saw a big increase in space allocated to Ramadan across all the major multiples, in comparison to previous years. Of course, no January is complete without the obligatory Aldi & Lidl price match battles and the enduring value emphasis featuring heavily throughout their non-event retailer communications.

All major grocers appear to have raised the game in terms of brand-led theatre within stores. Morrisons and Asda, who had been lagging behind their competitors, loosened the shackles of constraint. Is this surge in innovation a passing fad or a sustained evolution?

We eagerly await the answer…

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Retail Roundup – January 2024

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

As we reflect on the beginning of another year, we observed the major multiple grocers teeming with a dynamic mix of promotional activity.

Events were very much flavour of the month, ranging from Pet and Home, through to Baby & Toddler, Pancake Day, Valentines Day, Ramadan, Lunar New Year and even a Great Savings event. Amidst so many options, some might say it was a touch overwhelming for shoppers with the sheer volume of offerings.

Of course, no January is complete without the obligatory Aldi & Lidl price match battles and the enduring value emphasis featuring heavily throughout their non-event retailer communications.

From a brand perspective, it was great to see an underrepresented category shine. Frozen products experienced a notable increase in activity across a variety of brands and retailers.

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Retail Roundup 2023 – A year in review

During 2023 the UK grocery retail sector experienced some significant transformations…

We were thrilled to witness the major multiples loosen their shackles on brands, which vastly increased creative in-store activations, whilst HFSS guidelines prompted a significant rise in branded in-aisle activity.

Retailers also dedicated greater efforts to creating meaningful online content for Shoppers, with interesting campaigns and initiatives to be found on their websites.

An exciting year, we’re sure you’ll agree!

For those familiar with our monthly Retail Roundups, you’ll know we love to tour the stores to see what’s hot (and sometimes not) and share our findings with the wider retail community.

It’s therefore been our pleasure to seize this opportunity and highlight the very best of the best in this Annual Review; brought to you by a panel of our own retail experts, celebrating the gems we uncovered during 2023.

Download to see which activation we felt beat all others to be crowned our ultimate winner of the year.

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Retail Roundup Report – December ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

As we reflected on the 2023 retail calendar, we wanted to do something a little different for our December ’23 review.
Being a part of the Altavia Group, with over 65 retail-focused businesses spanning 45 countries, we’re privileged to have a front-row seat to the diverse array of retail landscapes.

So, we thought we’d wrap up the year by delving into the collective wisdom of our global colleagues and seeing the exciting in-store activities they observed during December.

We hope you enjoy this broader perspective of the retail scene.

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Retail Roundup Report – November ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

As the weather got colder, we saw the grocery multiples focus switch to Christmas with all retailers fighting for shopper spend. You know the festive battle has well and truly kicked in when the first Bailey’s 1 litre promotion lands, this year courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

We’ve seen BWS and confectionery dominate in-store theatre this year, but November saw chilled brands coming to the fore, using high level signage and floor media to inject some engagement into what can be challenging categories .

Floor media has been much maligned over the years, but we saw a resurgence across the mults and in different categories. Whether this is temporary or a sign of brands and retailers embracing some of the older, less loved tactics only time will tell.

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Retail Roundup Report – October ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

Halloween and Diwali took centre stage this month, both in store and online, in a welcome departure from last year when both events had a considerably muted presence in the major multiples.

We continued to see a notable uptick in branded activity across the top 5 grocers, although Morrisons are still playing catch up in terms of in store theatre when compared to their competitors.

Predictably, confectionery and sweet treat brands prominently featured throughout October. In addition, we saw activity across a variety of categories including Pet, BWS, Home and Food, all adding to the engaging shopping experience we encountered this month.

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